Sunday, January 27, 2008

They Stay or Resign Because of the Leaders

Because it is in both the top three reasons that employees stay and leave, opportunities for advancement are critical to manage. Employees are more willing to be engaged when they understand and can participate in managing their own career path. Employees who have high performance ratings are able to take advantage of lateral moves and promotions. Managers should also be aware of external barriers to performance that can rob employees of the ability to perform and increase their frustration. Leaders who engage their direct reports in the employee development processes help their reports create and manage their own careers. Leaders who leverage situational leadership skills drive superior performance, which creates more opportunities for their high performing direct reports.

Engaged employees are more likely to join your company and then stay if they have challenging work that allows them to test and develop new competencies. Competencies affecting commitment include those that are interpersonal and intrapersonal in nature, including the ability to learn (which is a strong predictor of future leadership potential). Competencies that affect capability include knowledge, technical skills, and ability.

According to every contemporary piece of research on why great performers become disengaged and leave companies the number one reason is consistently a bad boss. Leaders that engage the hearts and minds of their direct reports keep their top talent or help their best employees move up the organization. They engage their direct reports’ hearts by building a sense of deeper purpose, building relationships amongst team members, and appreciating both what was done and how it was done. They engage their direct reports’ minds by providing autonomous work environment in which each employee can take credit for his/her own success.

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